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Introduction to Aerial skills - for teenagers

Unfortunately this course will not be going ahead as planned

If you are aged between 14 – 18 and you have ever fancied flying through the air with the greatest of ease, then your time has come.

Belfast Circus are staging a six week aerial course introducing participants to the basics of trapeze, rope and aerial silks.

This course is aimed at complete beginners, but is also open to members of youth circus with limited aerial experience.

All you need to take part in this exciting new course is a good level of fitness and a sense of adventure!

Dates: Tuesday 7th March Tuesday 14th March Tuesday 21st March Tuesday 28th March Tuesday 4th April Tuesday 11th April

Time: 6pm – 7.15pm Price: £60.

To book a space or find out more please email admin@belfastcircus.org or call 02890 236 007.

New Itty Bitty and Youth Classes

We at Belfast Circus are very excited as we have just secured use of a new space in Belfast and this means that we can start up a range of new classes!

Class places are now available and will be offered on a first come first served basis - those people who book online quickest and pay for a space will get it first. As those with children on our waiting list were given the first chance to book these spots, some classes are already full so move fast!

The only way we can hold these new classes is by charging to cover the costs of trainers and hiring the hall so the cost is a bit more than current classes, but it is not dependent on any grant funding so we can guarantee to carry on running the classes.

Classes for 2-3 year olds will be held on Fridays from 10-11am and 11.15-12.15 (class sizes – 16 children) These classes involve parents/guardians so wear something comfortable to move in.

Classes for 4-5 year olds will be held on Tuesdays from 4 - 5pm and Fridays from 3-4pm (class sizes – 20 children)

Classes for 6-7 year olds will be held on Tuesdays from 5.30-6.30pm and Fridays from 4.15 - 5.15pm (class sizes – 20 children)

Youth Circus classes will be held on Saturdays from 10-12noon and 12.45 – 2.45 (8-12 year olds)

To book your space, please head to: GetInvited

Class spaces are limited and this is the only way to confirm your child’s spot.

The first term will run from January – end of March/early April.

50% term deposits are £42 for Itty Bitty classes (under 8 years of age) and £51 for Youth classes – this includes a small handling charge by the website which we have absorbed.

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch on admin@belfastcircus.org

All of the new classes will take place at St Martin’s Church hall at the bottom of Newtownards Road.

The location will be - St Martins Church, 88 Newtownards Rd, Belfast BT4 1GW

Bus stop 'Short Strand, Newtownards Road' Bus route 3A and 20

Parking - on side streets in vicinity

Circus Cabaret Night, November 2016

Some photos above from our recent 80's themed Cabaret night, featuring performances from members of our Wednesday night Adult Circus class - a great night out!

Circus Cabaret Night

Join us on Saturday 19th November when members of our Wednesday night adult circus class will be showcasing their skills in our cabaret night.

The theme is 80's and dressing up is encouraged so grab your crimpers and get out your shoulder pads!

Suggested donation is £8 and doors open at 7.30pm - admittance is on a first-come first served basis so get down nice and early to ensure you get a spot!

Culture Night 2016

It is almost that time of year again when wierd and wonderful events take place all over Belfast and of course we at Belfast Community Circus School had to get involved!

Join us on Friday 16th September when we will be performing six short family friendly Cabarets every 45 minutes from 6pm onwards.

CNB16

We Are Recruiting for Premiere Circus

Premiere Circus Development and Sales Officer

Job Description Business Planning & Growth 1. To work with the Senior Team and Board of Directors to develop and agree a business plan for Premiere Circus 2. To work with the Senior Team and Board of Directors to develop and agree a marketing and communications plan for Premiere Circus 3. To identify, package and promote a range of clear products in line with the Business Plan for Premiere Circus 4. To work alongside the Director to develop new and innovative products to attract new artists and to extend the range of products available to clients 5. To maintain existing partnerships and to develop new partnerships with complimentary suppliers and clients

Bookings & Contracts with clients and artists 1. To be the main point of contact for all client enquiries to Premiere Circus 2. To liaise with clients at all stages from initial contact to completion of booking 3. To contact and contract most appropriate artists to meet the needs of each particular client 4. To research and prepare tender documents for appropriate events 5. To maintain and improve a streamlined administration system for booking and contracting clients and artists 6. To assess the needs of clients and to match them with appropriate artists and packages 7. To maintain records of payments due in and payments due out and to pass this information to the Finance Officer 8. To secure and record client feedback after a booking 9. To undertake such monitoring and data capture as may be required by the Senior Team

Other Responsibilities 1. Awareness of Health & Safety requirements 2. Drawing up risk assessments working alongside artists and the Deputy Director 3. Ensure that all relevant Safeguarding responsibilities are met 4. Actively promote a supportive safe working environment 5. To undertake any other duties as may be required by the Senior Team

Person Specification Essential Skills 1. Excellent communication skills – verbal and written 2. Strong standard of computer literacy using a range of Microsoft and Google programmes 3. Experience of networking with both individuals and organisations 4. Experience of setting and achieving targets – both financial and task orientated 5. Experience of developing plans and strategies for growth 6. Experience of Marketing, sales and promotion 7. Experience of working on your own initiative 8. Experience of working as part of a small team Desirable 1. Experience of event management 2. Experience of working in the arts/ creative industry Experience of working with financial systems

Other Requirements 1. Willingness to work flexible hours 2. Willing to work occasional weekends and evenings

Application Process Candidates should submit their most up to date CV highlighting all relevant skills and experience for the role. Candidates are encouraged to make the link between the person specification and their own experience as clear as possible. Candidates are also asked to submit a one page statement outlining why they are seeking this position and what they think they will bring to the post. Candidates are invited to submit this information via email to jobs@belfastcircus.org marking the subject line Premiere Post. All applications must be received by 5pm August

Hours per week: 37

Holiday entitlement: 25 days plus public holidays

Salary: £17,000-21,000 depending on experience

Festival of Fools

The Festival of Fools is back! Click through to our See Circus page or click here to learn more! FESTIVAL OF FOOLS

World Record Certificate

We got the World Record for the Largest Shaving Cream Pie Fight! If you would like your own personalised certificate, now is your chance!

They can be paid for below or in the circus office, where they can also be collected, from the hours of 9.30 to 5 or you can pay for postage and we will deliver them to you.

If you have not done so already and would like a certificate, please email your name and address, if you would like to pay for postage, to help@belfastcircus.org

Certificate with or without postage

Big Birthday Bash Nearly Here

Celebrations for the 30th Birthday Party are just around the corner. on 20 & 21 June, Belfast's Cathedral Quarter will be alive with 40 shows and walkabout performances on the streets and squares. These performances will be staged by professionals, youth circus and others from the past and present of the Belfast Community Circus School. Artists such as Jitterbug Jackson, Martin Big Pig and Gilbert Giggles will be flying in from as far afield as Cambodia to resume their connections with the Circus School. New artists from Youth Circus and Adult Circus will be putting on shows alongside firm favourites such as Barren Carrousel, Tumble Circus and That Man. The weekend kicks off with around 300 young people taking part in a Carnival Parade to celebrate the 21st Birthday of the BEAT Carnival starting at Custom House Square at midday on the Saturday. Shows run 1pm-6pm on the Saturday and Sunday. Don't miss the Big Fun Flan Fling - an attempt to break the World Record for the biggest ever Pie Fight Check out the programme here http://issuu.com/belfastcircus/docs/bcsv2flyeraw__2_

New funding awards in memory of Mike Moloney

As part of its continuing commitment to support artists and a sustainable arts sector, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland has announced two new funding awards, under the existing Support for the Individual Artist Programme (SIAP), in memory of Mike Moloney, co-founder of the Belfast Community Circus School and Anne O’Donoghue, Director of Play Resource Warehouse, two of the arts sectors largest figures who sadly passed away in recent times. Each award worth up to a maximum of £5,000 each, will be awarded annually following an application process. Applications are now open and will close at 4pm on Thursday 11th June 2015.

Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented; “Both Mike and Anne contributed a huge amount to the life and legacy of the arts in Northern Ireland and we are delighted to make these two awards available, in their memory, to artists in support of their professional career development. The awards will have a significant impact and we look forward to welcoming applications.”

Reflecting Mike Moloney’s passion for circus and street theatre and his work with young people, the Arts Council is launching an annual Mike Moloney Award to support the development of young people working in the field of Circus Arts and Street Theatre. Young people between the ages of 16-25 living in Northern Ireland can apply for the funding for the development of new shows, learning new skills to be applied to performing of teaching or mentoring support to refine their art.

Will Chamberlain, Director of Belfast Community Circus, commented, “Mike's wholehearted belief in the creative talents of young people and his role as champion for circus arts and co-founder of Belfast Community Circus School makes this SIAP award very apt. His role in circus and street theatre in Northern Ireland will be remembered for as long as it takes place on our streets and this Award ensures that future generations of circus and street performers will know of Mike's huge contribution to the arts for young people in this part of the world."

Anne O’Donoghue’s legacy is significant joining the Play Resource Warehouse in 1984 where she remained as a committed director for thirty years championing Community Arts practice. In particular her high standards of practice for the design and delivery of services and her support for continued professional development of her team at Play Resource Warehouse, community leaders, teachers and artists. With Anne’s commitment to community arts in mind, the Anne O’Donoghue Award aims to support training courses, mentoring, coaching supervision, research or national and international cultural exchanges. The award also aims to build the professional capacity of those working in the community arts sector through continuing professional development.

Gail McGarvey, Director of Play Resource warehouse, added, “I am delighted that the Arts Council of Northern Ireland has created this award in Anne’s memory. It is testament to her dedication and vision to promoting the arts over the last thirty years. We hope this award will contribute to the ongoing development of community arts throughout Northern Ireland”

Applications for both awards are now open and will close at 4pm, Thursday 11th June 2015. For further information and guidance notes visit www.artscouncil-ni.org

Find The Fun, Lose The Fat, Run Away To Join The Circus!

Adults training on a tightrope

To celebrate 30 years since its foundation, Belfast Community Circus School is offering a unique chance for adults to run away with the circus. A short introduction to circus training will offer the very highest quality training opportunities for grown ups to learn how to juggle, try out trapeze, walk the tightwire and learn how to be part of a human pyramid. At a time of year when many people pay joining fees to gyms only to let them lapse a month later, this is a fun way to fitness at the same time as doing something totally different. Will Chamberlain, a former circus clown and now Director of the Circus School, said: For 30 years Belfast Community Circus School has been giving children and young people the chance to pursue the dream of being part of the circus. This year, to mark our 30th birthday, we are offering that same wonderful experience to grown ups. Whether you want to do it for fun, for fitness, or for performance, this introduction to circus is perfect for all abilities.
The classes will be taken by 3 of the leading trainers and performers with the only dedicated Circus School in Ireland. Belfast Community Circus School is based in the Cathedral Quarter, where each year they hold classes for more than 2,000 youngsters. Currently, more than 1,000 children have put their names down on the waiting list for classes. Head Trainer, Paul Quate said: If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be in the circus, this short course will give you a glimpse into our world. I can’t guarantee that you will be a circus star after 3 lessons, but I do guarantee you will have learnt some circus skills and had a great time into the bargain. An Introduction to Circus Classes take place on Sunday 25th January, 1st & 8th February from 6pm-8pm. Cost £45 for the course. Booking can be made by email reception@belfastcircus.org or by phone 02890236007

Save Your Circus

If the average cuts are passed on to Circus School and Festival of Fools, it will mean a loss of £55,000 in the coming year. You can make a difference!

Hillas Smith gets arts funding into perspective

Dear Circus Supporter, I know that it’s Christmas time and you have a million things to be doing over the next week, but please make time to do one more thing before 29th December. I’m sure you know that our public finances are in a real mess right now and that there are big cuts around the corner from April 2015 onwards. The proposed cuts will have a potentially devastating impact on the work of the Circus School. As it stands, the cuts mean: 11% reduction in money for the Arts Council from Department for Culture Arts and Leisure, which means 11% or more cut for circus. 20% cut in Youth Council budget from Department of Education, which means 20% cut in our funding from YCNI 20% cut in City Centre Events funding from Department for Social Development, which means 20% less funding for Festival of Fools and Sunday Treats 100% cut in Events Funding from Northern Ireland Tourist Board from Department of Trade and Investment, which means a loss of £30,000 to Festival of Fools budget If the average cuts are passed on to Circus School and Festival of Fools, it will mean a loss of £55,000 in the coming year. This will have a massive negative impact on what we can deliver and on what you will be able to see. This impact will be multiplied across all arts and events in Northern Ireland so you can imagine how desperate the cultural scene will be next year and beyond if these cuts all go ahead. If you click on the link http://www.artscouncil-ni.org/showcasing-the-arts/advocacy and scroll down, you will find word version of a draft letter regarding cuts to Arts Council funding, which you are invited to adapt and send to the budget consultation. Or you can click here to download a pdf version http://www.artscouncil-ni.org/images/uploads/Sample%20Budget%20Consultation%20Response(1).pdf Please feel free to add in requests to preserve Events funding from DETI and DSD and a call to DE to preserve spending on the Youth Service.
I realise that there are finite resources, but the money being cut is miniscule in the scheme of government spending, but is massively important for delivery of arts and cultural events by a beleaguered sector which has undergone 5 consecutive years of cuts to its budgets.
You can download a copy of the template letter and adapt it, but please make sure that you send it to the address on the letter. You can make a difference! Thanks, Will Chamberlain Director

Run away with the Circus with this Alternative Christmas Gift!

CIRCUS EXPERIENCE-INTRO TO CIRCUS COURSE (18+) £45

DATES: Sundays 25th Jan, 1st & 8th Feb

TIME:6pm-7pm

TO BOOK: 90 236007 or reception@belfastcircus.org

NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!

Join our professional trainers for a dynamic and foun course in the basics of Circus Performance including juggling, tight-wire, acrobalance, unicycle and diabolo.

Training with Belfast Community Circus School is an experience not to be found anywhere else in N.I.

YOUTH CIRCUS CHRISTMAS SHOW!

Christmas has come around again and with it comes another amazing, cabaret style show from the Saturday circus youths. Loved by Adults and children alike this years show promises to be bigger and better than ever but you will have to see it to believe it!

Showcasing the skills and abilities of the highly talented Youth Circus as they perform festive treats in an action packed cabaret format. Featuring a cast of 60 young people who will present a spectacular show featuring juggling, acrobatics, dance, and aerial skills.

There are 5 shows on over the weekend of Fri 19th - Sun 21st December, with one show on the Friday at 7pm and 2 shows daily on the Saturday and Sunday at 3pm and 6pm.

Tickets available NOW! If you are paying by cash or cheque please call down to the circus school between 9:30 - 5pm on Monday to Thursday and 9:30 - 4pm on a Friday. If you have a direct debit account set up with us you can book over the phone, call 028 9023 6007 between these same times or email recption@belfastcircus.org. Suggested donation is £7 a place.

Adult Circus Cabaret

Like super heroes with not-so-secret identities, by day they are an average citizen but by night (granted only once a week) they transform into top class circus performers! They have put together a thrilling night of amazement for your entertainment featuring club wielding, trapeze flying, pole climbing and all round good humour in-between.

The annual Adult cabaret is on the November 22nd, prepare to be wowed!

Amazing youth circus training for free

If you are serious about circus then you can’t afford to miss this training.......top quality intensive training in acrobatics, aerial, juggling, diabolo, chinese pole and clowning free of charge this summer.

Sensational Training Opportunity for 13-18 year olds Intensive circus training free of charge this Summer for 13-18 year olds from UK and Ireland Belfast Circus School are offering an amazing opportunity young circus performers of the future to get some top quality intensive training in acrobatics, aerial, juggling, diabolo, chinese pole and clowning free of charge this summer.

If you are serious about circus then you can’t afford to miss this training. Students can apply to take part in all five weeks of training, or select the dates which suit them best.

One Week Clowning Masterclass with Joe Dieffenbacher: 28 July - 1 August Joe Dieffenbacher is one of the leading teachers of physical clowning and slapstick. Better known as Nakupelle to audiences around the world Joe is the head trainer in clowning at the Comedia D’ell Arte Schools in San Francisco. Joe is a major influence amongst street and circus clowns from North America including Mooky Cornish and Teatro Pachuco. Joe has taught in Belfast on a number of occasions for existing and emerging professional performers. This week long training will also be opened up to some adults from Belfast

Two week Trainings - Serious Circus! First Training period: 4-8 August; 11-15 August; Performance 17 August Second Training period: 18 - 22 August; 25 - 29 August; Performance 31st August Two weeks of concentrated, advanced circus led by world class aerial and acrobatics coach Flee O’Brien who has joined us from Australia. Flee will be supported throughout the training by acro and aerial duo Ben Brown and Jonathan Finch from London. For the first 2 week period we have Paul Quate, Head of the Belfast Youth Circus, who will be looking after the manipulation needs of students. For the second 2 week period we will have Chinese pole specialist Caroline Abbott and Manipulative wizard Grant Goldie. These two week training periods will focus on acrobatics, aerial and juggling/ E & M. The aim is to develop skills and introduce students to a serious training environment which will help prepare them for professional level training should they choose that path. The teaching will be of the very highest quality available in the UK or Ireland. Each of these two week trainings will culminate in a performance on the final Sunday as part of the Sunday Treats season staged by the Festival of Fools. What To Do Next? If you are interested in taking part in the 2014 Summer Training, the first thing to do is register that interest. Email info@belfastcircus.org stating which training you are interested in. Please talk to your parents first and make sure you are not messing up their holiday plans before you tell us what summer projects you are interested in. Registering your interest does not guarantee a place on the Summer Programme. Once you have registered your interest, you will then be sent an application form for the summer programme. You may be asked to send a short video too. Other Questions: email info@belfastcircus.org with any questions you or your parents might have about this training.

About Belfast Circus School We have been running our youth circus uninterrupted since 1985. We work with around 450 young people each week between the ages of 2-18. We operate across Northern Ireland and have numerous international partners too. We are funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council, Youth Council of Northern Ireland, Children in Need and the Leverhulme Trust. The intensive Summer programme is made possible through bursary support from the Leverhulme Trust. This is how we are able to offer this training free of charge.

Youth Circus Makes the News

Some of the members of Youth Circus have formed an Editorial Group to put together a blog with weekly news on what is happening in the world of Youth Circus. Have a look and sign up to follow their posts The members of Belfast Community Circus school have started their own blog. Check it out and please sign up to follow if you like it Youth Circus Blog

YOUTH CIRCUS CHRISTMAS SHOW

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!!

It's that time of the year again!! Escape from the craziness of Christmas shopping and spend a superb hour enjoying the fantastic Youth Circus Christmas cabaret. This annual show is a tried and tested remedy for banishing boredom in children and improving general well-being in adults and grandparents!

Showcasing the skills and abilities of the highly talented Youth Circus as they perform festive treats in an action packed cabaret format. Featuring a cast of 60 young people who will present a spectacular show featuring juggling, acrobatics, dance, and aerial skills.

There are 5 shows on over the weekend of Fri13th - Sun 15th December, with one show on the Friday at 7pm and 2 shows daily on the Saturday and Sunday at 3pm and 6pm.

Tickets are £6 and you can reserve your spot now by calling Belfast Circus School on 028 90 236 007 by emailing reception@belfastcircus.org, or by talking to Paul at Youth Circus on Saturdays.

Help Out and Build Up

Hanging around til the Lottery Draw

If you feel inspired by seeing our appearance on the National Lottery Live Draw on Saturday 2nd November 9.05pm BBC1 then you can help us out with a donation by text. Just text to 70070 and put BCCS11 followed by £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 You can even add gift aid too! Every single penny you donate will go directly to the Belfast Community Circus School and will support classes working with young people in areas of disadvantage. We will be adding a new Donate button to the website in the next week or so.

Fingers crossed for Saturday Night

We are hugely honoured to be the first organisation from Northern Ireland to be featured on the new National Lottery Live Draw programme. The crew were over filming youth circus the other week and now 10 members are flying to London to appear with Chris Evans on Saturday 2nd November!!

Term start dates

Here's our timetable for member based programmes:

  • Thursday Night Circus - 12 Sept
  • Youth Circus - Sat 14 Sept
  • Sunday Circus - 15 Sept
  • Monday Itty Bitty - 16 Sept
  • Thursday Itty Bitty - 19 Sept

See you all soon!

Culture Night Belfast

We're delighted to be part of Culture Night Belfast 13 and have a packed evening to share with you on Friday 20 September!

Excerpts from the Experts - Act 1: 6pm, 7pm and 8pm

Having recently returned from the UK Youth Circus Festival in Edinburgh, the Belfast Youth Circus will be presenting a range of elements from a variety of performances featuring juggling, aerial technique, unicycle and comedy.

This show is approx 20 mins, and will be performed at 6pm, 7pm and 8pm

Excerpts from the Experts - Act 2: 9pm, 9.30pm, 10pm, 10.30pm

In everyday life they may be architects or administrators; bar tenders or barristers; but by night they are circus stars supreme. Despite only meeting one night a week, the members of Adult Circus perform with an ease as if they had been born into it. Expect aerial antics, acrobatics and good humour.

Shows will begin at 9pm, 9.30pm, 10pm and 10.30pm

If you are aged 18 or over and want to try circus out, come along to Adult Circus class, which meets every Wednesday evening throughout the year, well 50 out of the 52!

In between times, the public will have the opportunity to find out all about Ireland's biggest and busiest circus school. Mini building tours; DVD viewing and, of course, popcorn will all be on hand to pass the time.

Be sure to check out the full Culture Night Programme - see culturenightbelfast.com

Sunset Picnic Cabaret

Wishing Paddy and Cal all the best in their future circus careers

Sunset Picnic

We're having a special family friendly cabaret - Sunset Picnic - on Friday 23 August. It's to celebrate and say farewell to Paddy and Cal, who have been a huge part of the Belfast Circus School community, as they set off to continue their circus careers in Bristol.

There will be two shows on Friday 23 August, doors opening at 5.30 and 8.30pm! Tickets cannot be reserved, entry will be on a first come first served basis, with a suggested donation of £5 per head.

So, as we come to the end of summer we invite you to join us; so bring your picnics, bring your friends, and be prepared to be entertained!!

This is an alcohol-free event.

Circus Runs Away To Join The Circus

17 members of the Youth Circus are heading to Edinburgh on Monday for the UK Youth Circus Festival. For six days they will be joining 140 young people from across the UK in a feast of workshops masterclasses and performances. They will be taking in some shows including the latest hit shows from NoFitState Circus and The Gandinis. We are expecting to return with new skills, inspiration and very tired young people!

Festival in an Afternoon

12th July, 12-4pm, Belfast City Centre

crowds enjoying Festival in an Afternoon

Belfast Community Circus School supported by Festival of Fools present Festival in an Afternoon.

For the 3rd year running, the Lawns of City Hall and Cornmarket will come alive after the parade leaves the City Centre on Friday 12th July.

There will be non stop performances featuring acrobatics, juggling, physical comedy and general good humour performed by some of the finest artists from the UK and Ireland. The shows will be accompanied by walkabout performances bringing colour and laughter to the Festival in an Afternoon.

Cornmarket shows

  • 12pm – Dansko Gida

  • 12.50 – That Man

  • 1.40 – Dansko Gida

  • 2.30 – Magilligans

  • 3.20 – Mr H

City Hall Lawns shows

  • 12 - Magilligans

  • 12.50 – Afrikan Warriors

  • 1.40 - Mr H

  • 2.30 – That Man

  • 3.20 – Afrikan Warriors

Walkabout

Between Cornmarket and City Hall

  • 12-1 Pearl & Deanie

  • 1-2 Dot Comedy

  • 2-3 Pearl & Deanie

  • 3-4 Dot Comedy

As well as wonderful free shows, you can get your fill at the Northern Ireland food market on City Hall Lawns.

So if you’re about on the 12th, head into the City Centre between 12-4pm and enjoy this inclusive Festival in an Afternoon, brought to you by Belfast Community Circus School in association with Festival of Fools.

If you like top notch street theatre shows, check out the Sunday Treats season - a series of free shows on Sundays in July and August - at foolsfestival.com

How to pay tribute to Mike

Dear Everyone, please look up mikemoloney.net. It has the info on arrangements for Mike's service/celebration of his life and we would love thoughts, tributes, photos etc, even if you've written on facebook, really appreciate if you could do it again there cos a lot of his family aren't facebook people and we want to gather as much as possible to give them so they can really feel the love we had for their son and brother and uncle and father. Mike didn't like facebook (although that didn't stop him looking at stuff over my shoulder a lot of times.....) so didn't think a facebook page for him would be quite the thing!

His funeral is Monday 29th at 11.30 am at Roselawn Crematorium. Fire for the fire eater..... or, "bake and shake" as he always used to say.... all info on mikemoloney.net

Thank you. x

Nuala McKeever

Mike Moloney

Mike Moloney

For a generation of children, Mike Moloney was the father they never had or the father they wished they had as he spread circus joy and fun. For a generation of circus artists in Northern Ireland he was the founding father, the man we knew had made all this possible for us. We are all in shock at the news that you have been taken from us without warning and we will honour your memory with everything we continue to do here at the Circus School. Our thoughts and prayers are with your son and with everyone who loves you and misses you.

If you want to share your memories and tributes, you can visit mikemoloney.net.

Alternatively you can call into Circus School, and we will make sure to pass them onto his loved ones.

Belfast Circus School facebook

John Lonergan's Circus - RTE documentary filmed at BCCS

John Lonergan pictured with the 8 participants

A new documentary series for RTÉ, sees former governor of Mountjoy Prison John Lonergan working with eight young people from disadvantaged communities around Dublin as they head to Belfast for 10 weeks of intensive circus training with Belfast Community Circus School.

Most of these young people are early school-leavers. All have had difficulties in either their home lives or community lives. Since January, this group of teenagers have been spending two days a week with the Belfast Community Circus School and their top professional instructors. The School’s mission is to “transform lives and communities through the power of circus arts and street theatre”. This documentary series charts a training programme aimed at supporting at risk young people to learn valuable social, civic and interpersonal skills. The series is not designed to turn these young people into professional circus performers but aims to help potentially wayward teenagers by boosting their creativity, self esteem, teamwork and discipline. Belfast Community Circus School is recognised as a leader in the field of social circus, using circus as a tool for individual and community development with those at risk or disadvantaged.

Throughout his life as governor of Mountjoy Prison, John Lonergan met young men and women whose lives had often been dictated by circumstance of birth, perpetuating an intergenerational cycle of disadvantage, drug and alcohol abuse, poverty, crime and unemployment in troubled areas of Dublin. He believes in early intervention and in investing in young people to break this cycle. Through this unique project, John Lonergan and The Belfast Community Circus have been trying to do just that.

“The most important thing for anyone working with young people is they must have a fundamental belief in that young person. They will certainly test your patience and endurance at times, and sometimes you could say I’m not going any further but we must never give up on them. My own personal belief is every young person has potential, every young person can make it if we, the adults, and society in general sustain that effort and support.” John Lonergan

The circus training is intended to lead to a public performance in the Big Day Out in Merrion Square, Dublin as part of the St. Patrick’s Day Festival. Permission to perform requires a very high standard which in turn requires huge commitment and focus. This series charts the highs and lows of the teenagers’ time in Circus School but much more importantly offers an insight into their lives and stories.

This project is about social inclusion at its core, and these young people's life chances and opportunities. John Lonergan's Circus seeks to help this group of teenagers discover talents in themselves and develop as pro-social and confident members of our community.

The four part series goes out at 10.15pm on Thursday nights starting 11th April on RTE One.

John Lonergan’s Circus is produced by Independent Pictures for RTÉ and is made with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Preview of John Lonergan's Circus

Tonight on the Late Late Show on RTE John Lonergan will be talking about the documentary series which starts next Thursday - John Lonergan's Circus - following 10 weeks of our work with young inner city people from Dublin, which took place Jan - March this year in Belfast.

Festival of Fools launches

Festival of Fools

Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council, and Will Chamberlain, Artistic Director, Festival of Fools helped launch the 10th Festival of Fools program today at Belfast Circus School.

From 2nd-6th May, artists from around the world will be coming to perform at one of Belfast’s most popular events – the annual street theatre festival celebrating the international language of laughter.

Since 2004 audiences have enjoyed more than a hundred free shows each year from some of the finest physical comedians and circus performers working in the streets today.

As part of the Party feel to the 10th year, the Festival of Fools is bringing back some of the audience favourites from previous editions. Artists such as Dr Palfi, leading Laughologist, who will be continuing his campaign against natural causes – the number one cause of death in the world! The Chipolatas return to Belfast with their hilarious and charming blend of music, juggling and mirth. A touch of the knockabout era of silent movies will be brought to life with an amazing opening show from award winning company Bash Street Theatre who will be bringing acrobatic slapstick, pathos and passion with their newest production Strongman.

Our incredibly talented Belfast Youth Circus will be performing on Saturday 4th May at Writer's Square at 1pm and 3pm, so get along in good time to enjoy their latest show 'Rain or Shine'.

With non stop shows throughout the day in locations across the City Centre and Cathedral Quarter, each evening finishes with a variety style show featuring highlights from the day’s acts in the relaxed surroundings of Saint Anne’s Square. You’d be a fool to miss it! See www.foolsfestival.com

Festival of Fools teaser

Who is looking forward to the Festival of Fools? It's 6 weeks today, so get it in the diary - Thurs 2nd - Mon 6th May. To whet your appetite, our friends at Festival of Fools have added this beautiful little video - the fantastical Travelling Obo's journey.

March 6th - Classes Cancelled

Unfortunately Itty Bitty Circus classes and Adult Circus are cancelled today due to a broken heating system. Class will be back on next week. You can join us on facebook

New Adult Circus timetable

Adult Circus timetable released Jan - May

Adult Circus in action

Whether you are a regular attendee or have made a new year's resolution to learn a new skill, you can now plan your Wednesday evening activities around our latest Adult Circus timetable.

From trapeze to trampette, tightwire walking to stiltwalking, acrobatics to juggling and lots more, you can come along to Adult Circus on Wednesdays 7.30-9.30pm and we'll even provide juice and biscuits at the end. See more on our Adult Circus page

Christmas holidays

We will close at 3pm on Friday 21st December and reopen at 10am on Weds 2nd January. Enjoy the holidays everyone!!

Show success

What a fantastic weekend of shows. Congratulations to our Youth Circus members, teachers, back stage crew, and volunteers.

Here's what some people had to say after seeing the show:

Such an excellent show, blew me away! Brilliant choreography, the colours and design of the sets; the sheer range of skills and talents that all the children and young people possess...felt very humbled by it all. Great night out!

Wonderful show, well done everyone.

You have put in so much work. It's so enjoyable to watch!

It was fab, very entertaining and lots of fun!

Just keep on doing what you're doing.

Christmas cheer on its way

Belfast Circus School Christmas cabaret

With just a few days to go, the school is buzzing with anticipation in the build up to the annual Youth Circus Christmas Cabaret. As most of you already know, the show has a cast of 64 young people, and features traditional circus skills such as juggling, unicycle, acrobatics, slapstick, dance and aerial skills. These are presented in a modern upbeat style, promising a spectacular visual treat for audiences.

The cast, ranging from 8-18 years old, are heavily involved in all aspects of the Christmas production, from devising the storylines to creating new routines, and are encouraged by our team of dedicated tutors to think big and reap the rewards of their hard work and dedication. BCCS performances are recognised for their high production values and the cast and crew are still riding high on the success of Journey to the Land of Giants, which was the largest touring street theatre production ever created in Northern Ireland.

So with just a few days to go, the excitement is building for the run of 5 shows starting this Friday. Most shows are currently sold out, but we currently have 10 tickets for this Friday at 7pm, and 4 for Saturday at 3pm. If we get any further last minute changes, we'll be sure to let you know - follow us on facebook too www.facebook.com/belfastcircus

Job opportunity with Circus Gerbola

Circus Gerbola job opportunity

For those of you looking to travel far and wide with Circus, well in Southern Ireland at least, Circus Gerbola is looking for a Circus Business Administrator for a ten month fixed term contract.

This is a Traditional Touring Circus, and tasks will include office-based and off site work throughout the performance season (February to beginning of November). Salary circa €20,800 pro rata, negotiable dependent on experience.

For more information about this exciting post please email your contact details to teri@circusgerbola.ie or call + 353 (0)86 3700620. Applications close midday December 28th

More about the job from Circus Gerbola:

This is an unusual, exciting and challenging opportunity for an adventurous administrator to work, initially for a ten month fixed term contract, under the direction of Circus Proprietor, Tara Gerbola. The post holder will tour with the circus throughout the season and tasks will include office-based and off site work.

You will be a dynamic and confident person who will work with the proprietors to administrate, monitor and develop this middle-scale, family run circus throughout 2013. You must be fluent in English.

This rewarding post will be based in Southern Ireland and the successful applicant will tour with the circus throughout the performance season (February to beginning of November).

For more information about this exciting post please email your contact details to teri@circusgerbola.ie or call + 353 (0)86 3700620

December 28th 2012: Applications due by midday

W/B January 7th 2013 Interviews in Ireland

Post to begin as soon as possible thereafter to run until the beginning of November 2013

Circus tutors bringing art to life at Ulster Museum

John Luke's The Rehearsal

Belfast-born artist John Luke, whose work is currently on display at the Ulster Museum in a stunning comprehensive retrospective, drew inspiration in the rich circus tradition in art history to create his 1950 masterpiece, 'The Rehearsal'.

So striking is the painting, in fact, that our tutors will bring it to life, literally, by running a workshop at the Ulster Museum on Saturday 1 December for 8 to 16 year olds. This fun workshop will include hoop and scarf juggling - skills that can be admired in the painting. There are still a few places left on Saturday, the workshop runs 2pm - 3.30pm, fee is £5 per person and you should contact the Ulster Museum on 028 9044 0000 or email ulstermuseumreception@nmni.com

Dr Joseph McBrinn of the University of Ulster, curator of the Luke exhibition, said: “Many modern artists were interested in the circus as a subject - such as Manet, Seurat and Picasso - and also, in Ireland, Jack B. Yeats is famed for his depictions of circus folk and circus life.

“Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Luke showed a professional interest in performances of all sorts, such as ballet and theatre, and he may well have attended local circuses for pleasure and for sketching. Unquestionably, he captures the timeless mood and heroic beauty of the performers caught rehearsing for a later performance.”

Kim Mawhinney, Head of Art at National Museums Northern Ireland, says the Ulster Museum is delighted to offer children this interactive workshop: “It is a real pleasure to team up with the Belfast Community Circus School to introduce John Luke’s art to children through re-enacting the scene from The Rehearsal painting, just a few feet away from the original work. Combining art, fun and exercise is the perfect way to breathe life into one of Luke’s most evocative works of art.”

Visit the Ulster Museum event page here

Countdown is on!

Limited number of tickets still on sale

Youth Circus rehearsals

The countdown is on to our annual Youth Circus Christmas Cabaret, with less than 2 weeks to go to the opening show on Fri 7th Dec! The cast and crew are busy putting the final touches to what promises to be an amazing show.

Tickets are selling fast, so if you want to make sure that you don't miss your chance to see the incredibly talented Youth Circus, call Belfast Circus School on 028 90 236 007 or email reception@belfastcircus.org

Tickets are £6 and payment secures your place.

When:

  • Friday 7th December at 7pm
  • Saturday 8th December at 3pm and 6pm
  • Sunday 9th December at 3pm and 6pm

Youth Circus Christmas Cabaret

You can book tickets now.

Escape from the craziness of Christmas shopping and spend a superb hour enjoying the fantastic Youth Circus Christmas cabaret. This annual show is a tried and tested remedy for banishing boredom in children and improving general well-being in adults and grandparents!

Showcasing the skills and abilities of the highly talented Youth Circus as they perform festive treats in an action packed cabaret format. Featuring a cast of 60 young people who will present a spectacular show featuring juggling, acrobatics, dance, and aerial skills.

There are 5 shows on over the weekend of Fri 7th - Sun 9th December, with one show on the Friday at 7pm and 2 shows daily on the Saturday and Sunday at 3pm and 6pm.

Tickets are £6 and you can reserve your spot now by calling Belfast Circus School on 028 90 236 007 or emailing reception@belfastcircus.org

Get your tickets now!

Circus Bites cabaret

Belfast Circus School is doing its bit to banish the winter blues by opening its doors for Circus Bites Cabaret, an evening of comedy and wonderment featuring stunning aerial performances, amazing acrobatics, and mesmerising manipulation presented by emerging and established talents.

So check your diaries for Saturday October 20th and Saturday November 17th, doors at 8pm, 18+ event. Tickets are £8 and available to buy now - just get in contact with reception@belfastcircus.org or call 028 90 236 007.

Cirque du Soleil trainers in Belfast

For the past 27 years, Belfast Community Circus School and Cirque du Soleil (through the Cirque du Monde programme) have been developing techniques and building up a vast wealth of experience in the field of Social Circus.

Training for Trainers in Social Circus

Transforming lives through circus

What do Cirque du Soleil and Belfast Community Circus School have in common? Well, perhaps more than you would think. For starters, both were founded in the mid 1980’s by a fire breathing stilt walker, but more importantly, both share a passionate belief in the value of circus as a transformational tool in peoples lives.

For the past 27 years, Belfast Community Circus School and Cirque du Soleil (through the Cirque du Monde programme) have been developing techniques and building up a vast wealth of experience in the field of Social Circus.

Belfast Community Circus School first visited Cirque du Soleil at their Montreal headquarters in 1999, and the organisations have been talking to each other about Social Circus ever since. Head Trainers from Cirque du Soleil are in Belfast from 1-5 October running a programme called Training for Trainers in Social Circus. Through BCCS’s involvement in CARAVAN, a European Circus association, it is able to host this prestigious training event in Belfast, offering the opportunity to circus trainers from across Europe and to those based in Belfast. It also comes at a very important time since Belfast Community Circus School is about to embark on their own innovative vocational European training programme for Social Circus trainers.

Director of Belfast Community Circus School, Will Chamberlain said “Belfast Community Circus School has placed a great value on our work with young people suffering disadvantage throughout our 27 years existence. With this strength in our work it is extremely pleasing to have the support of Cirque du Soleil to boost the expertise of our own trainers and to strengthen our international connections through this excellent training programme.”

Social Circus is a global practice which sees circus used as a tool for individual and community development, encouraging self-worth, instilling perseverance, growing confidence, inspiring creativity, and ultimately supporting marginalised youth towards a positive path into the adult world. Cirque du Monde is a social circus program created by Cirque du Soleil and Jeunesse du Monde, which targets at-risk youth. It combines circus techniques together with educational social intervention to help young people.

Fionnuala Walsh, Head of Participatory Arts at the Arts Council said “Belfast Community Circus School is a leader in its field, recognised as a mentor for other circus arts organisations throughout the UK and Ireland. This visit by Cirque du Soleil will not only provide vital training for local trainers but also the opportunity to delve even deeper into how social circus can be used as a learning tool to benefit our local communities and young people.”

Belfast Community Circus School has built up a strong reputation in its work with disadvantaged youth over the past 27 years, not shying away from what can be intense and challenging work. This reputation has led to an exciting six part documentary, ‘John Lonergan’s Circus’, to be screened in 2013, following a group of marginalised young people from Dublin and how circus can impact on their lives.

No Youth Circus 29th September

Please Note there will be NO Saturday Circus on Saturday 29th September! Please pass this information on if you know anyone connected to the youth circus!

Thank you!

Change of Dates for Once a Fortnight Circus and Youth Circus Christmas Shows!

Once a Fortnight

The first date for the once a fortnight term has been changed from 13th September to 6th September!

Youth Circus Shows

The dates of the youth circus Christmas shows have been changed from 14/15/16 December to 7/8/9 December! The date of the dress rehearsal has also been changed from 13th December to 6th December!

Culture Night Belfast 2012 - Friday 21st September

Culture Night Belfast

Fri 21st Sept

6pm- 9pm Belfast Youth Circus in Belfast Circus School, Gordon St

Enjoy a show written and performed by a group of dedicated and highly talented young circus performers that promises comedy, aerial escapades, acrobatics, chinese pole, juggling, and more. Inspirational and downright enjoyable.

This show is approx 30 mins, and will be performed at 6pm, 7pm and 8pm

9pm-11pm Circus Bites in Belfast Circus School, Gordon St

For the next 2 hours, you will be treated to a series of mini 15 min shows, presented by graduates of the Circus Arts for Employment (CAFÉ) course. An opportunity to see first hand the emerging talents of this new generation of circus performers. Shows will begin at 9pm, 9.30pm, 10pm and 10.30pm

In between times, the public will have the opportunity to find out all about Ireland's biggest and busiest circus school. Mini building tours; DVD viewing and, of course, popcorn will all be on hand to pass the time.

For more information on what else is happening on Culture Night, please visit www.culturenightbelfast.com

Portabelburn

Last week 32 young participants from Belfast Community Circus School, Community Circus Lisburn, Portadown Youth Centre, Sunday Circus & Lurgan Youth Centre joined together for five days of workshops.

They trained in different types of skills such as aerial, acrobatics, table slides, stilts, juggling and manipulation, chinese pole and pyramids.

Nicole & Martin ... More than Theatre comes to Holywood

Check out the wonderful Nicole and Martin ... More than theatre in Holywood, Co. Down on 26th-28th July

Storytelling which takes you on a journey to another world of theatre, fairy tales, music, song, dance, juggling and acrobatics, all performed in their renowned white tent and a plethora of canvas and wood marquee hung with streams of coloured silk.

  • 26th July - The musicians of Bremen @ 7pm
  • 27th July - The girl without hands @ 7pm
  • 28th July - The fisherman and his wife @ 7 pm

Performances are staged at Holywood Steiner School, (Croft Road Holywood)

Tickets are available from Go to Belfast

More information on Nicole and Martin can be found on their website

Finland Project

Cal Rehearsing for the trip

This Friday, four of our circus young members and two tutors will fly.. to Finland !

Hosted in Tampere by our partner Sorin Sirkus, they will spend 10 days of exchange with other young people from European Circus Schools, members of the CARAVAN network. They will share their experience and train together, and learn more about the other countries..

It is most likely that they will not forget to discover the Finnish saunas!

Last year the exchange took place in Luxembourg.

To know more about the CARAVAN project see the "run away with the circus" section of our website.

Want to work with the Circus School?

Ever wanted to run away with the circus? Belfast Community Circus School has been delivering quality training and performances for 27 years and is looking for a motivated administrative assistant to support activities across the organisation. Just go to the Publications and Downloads page on this site to download an application pack.

Festival in an afternoon

Ramshacklicious, picture Michael Walsh

Festival of Fools presents Festival in an Afternoon

12th July - From 12pm to 4.30pm

To create a new tradition of enjoyment for the people of Belfast, the Festival of Fools will be bringing some of the favourite artists from the past couple of years back into Belfast for 10 special performances over the course of an afternoon.

Artists include Haggis & Charlie; Ramshacklicious; the Magilligans; Big Rory; Dansko Gida; and the Afrikan Warriors.

The venues for the shows are Cornmarket and the City Hall Lawns.

As well as street theatre, 2012 will see a food market at City Hall Lawns. The shops will also be opening up for business 12-4.30pm. So join us for what promises to be a fun festival in an afternoon!

More details on foolsfestival.com

Free Circus Workshops at The Outlet

Tutors from Belfast Community Circus School will run FREE circus workshops for children every weekend at The Outlet, Banbridge.

For more information see The Outlet website or call 028 40625151.

Land of Giants - now FREE

In a Giant Act of generosity, the Legacy Trust UK has announced that they are making the Land of Giants event on 30th June FREE to everyone. It's the biggest ever outdoor arts show seen in Ireland with over 500 acrobats, actors, dancers, aerial performers, drummers and choristers who will present a once-in-a-lifetime spectacular, featuring amazing aerial performances, dramatic special effects, state-of-the-art animation, a specially commissioned soundtrack and a mind blowing firework finale! This amazing free event will take place at 10.30pm on Saturday 30 June 2012 at The Slipways, Titanic Belfast.

Wristbands for entry to the event will be available from 9am on Monday 25th June and will be issued on a first come, first served basis. Wristbands can be ordered online at www.gotobelfast.com or by visiting the Belfast Welcome Centre on Donegall Place, Belfast (maximum four tickets per person). It's a once in a lifetime show and now it's free!!! - although there is a £2 booking fee (1 ticket or 4 tickets!)

Anyone who has already purchased a ticket will still receive their wrist bands which will allow them entry, with a refund to happen after the show.

The event takes inspiration from the many giants of Northern Ireland. Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver, the legendary Finn McCool, Harland and Wolff’s Samson and Goliath, Titanic and the Giant’s Causeway are all iconic giants referenced throughout the performance. Land of Giants is part of the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration running from 21 June - 9 September 2012 bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK. It is funded by Legacy Trust UK with additional support from Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council and Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

For more info on the show, see www.landofgiants.info

Free circus workshops

Free Circus workshops being run every Saturday and Sunday at The Outlet. Workshops available for 2-4 yrs, 5-7 yrs and 8-10 yrs.

Each circus workshop offers an opportunity to come and learn a variety of circus skills including juggling, hat manipulation, flower stick, diablo, globe walking, tight wire walking and trampette. The workshops are taught in a fun and enthusiastic way to a high standard by tutors from Ireland’s premiere circus school Belfast Community Circus School.

To book your child's place click on the link below. We look forward to seeing you there.

http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/org/2319754403

Rehearsing for Land of Giants

For the next three weeks, the CAFE students will be intensively rehearsing for Land of Giants. This week is dedicated to aerial harnesses, taught by Joseph and Simone.

CAFE Course performance

Friday 1st of June was the last day of regular training for the CAFE (Circus Arts for Employment) Students. From now on they are going to intensively rehearse for their last performance at the bigger outdoors event ever produced in Northern Ireland, Land of Giants.

Last Friday they presented stunning aerial performances in solos or duos for the end of the class.

A great way to celebrate the end of 8 months of training!

The Journey continues

The amazing Journey to The Land of Giants continues its travels this weekend.

The magic continues as the Journey to the Land of Giants makes its next stop in St Columb’s Park, Derry on Saturday 2nd June at 1pm, before finishing its travels in Bloomfield Shopping Centre, Bangor on Tuesday 5th June at 3pm.

Journey to the Land of Giants is a unique fusion of circus, carnival and acrobatics coming together to tell a tall tale of confusion about how some of Northern Ireland’s most famous landmarks came into being.

This extraordinary show will star 53 young people from Belfast Youth Circus and Rathgael Gymnasts, working alongside 16 of Northern Ireland’s leading professional Circus and Carnival artists from The Beat Carnival and Belfast Circus School, performing on a specially constructed hydraulic stage which will convert from a giant library into a cruise liner and on into the Giant’s Causeway.

A live band led by Katie Richardson of Katie and the Carnival will be providing the soundtrack to stunning aerial feats, giant puppets and acrobatic endeavour.

This production is the largest street show ever created in Northern Ireland and premiered at the opening of the Festival of Fools in Belfast at the start of May. It is a free show funded by the Legacy Trust as part of the lead in to Land of Giants – the epic show taking place on the Titanic Slipway on 30th June, which is part of the London 2012 Festival.

You can follow Journey to the Land of Giants on facebook

Cabaret storms to success

Diabolo by Graham

Despite stiff competition from the Champions League Final, there was a sell out crowd for the Cabaret staged by the Adult Circus. The show was sensational!! What incredible talent and imagination went into the show. Everybody involved should be so proud of being part of a spectacular success.

NI4Kids Family Awards

Haggis and Charlie -Photo by Michael Barbour

The Festival of Fools has just won the NI4Kids Family Event of the Year Award!

Last Friday the Festival of Fools team was invited to the NI4Kids Family Awards ceremony in the new Titanic Building along with all the other nominees and sponsors. The Ceremony included different categories such as the Childcare Award, the Primary School Teacher of the Year or the Family Support Organisation of the Year.

Among the four finalists in the Family Events category -The Emerald Garrison for Star Wars Invasion at W5, the Night at the Museum organised by the Ulster Museum, and Portaferry Gala Week - the Festival of Fools was awarded the Family Event of the Year Award!

The team was very happy to get recognition for almost 10 years of dedicated work in bringing this great family-friendly event to the streets of Belfast. This award recognises the Festival of Fools' aim to transform the City centre through laughter and street theatre which brings people and families together and enables them to share civic space. The Festival really strives to change the perceptions of Belfast and to make it the vibrant place it should be.

We were also very proud that our Youth Circus Director Paul Quate was nominated as Coach or Tutor of the Year, but due to tough competition the award went to Kip McGrath Education Centre in Lisburn.

Thanks for all the nominations and votes that got us through to the shortlist!

What a Festival of Fools!

Fatt Matt - Photo by Txema Aguilar Opening Show: Journey to the Land of Giants - Photo by Virginia Popoff

Last week there were no classes at the Circus School: everyone was busy enjoying the 9th Festival of Fools!

The opening Ceremony, Journey to the Land of Giants, was stunning. The young performers from Rathgael Gymnastics, The Beat and our Youth Circus class -along with professional performers- offered to the massive crowd of Saint Anne's Square a fantastic and highly skilled show.

Then, for 5 days, Belfast City Centre saw more than 130 performances by artists from across the world presenting acrobatic, poetic, dramatic and hilarious shows. The audience watched and laughed with enthusiasm and many members of the public even participated in the shows as clowns with Mr Smythe, drama students put through their paces by Mooky Cornish, human rigging points for Twin Tango's Chinese pole, or knight's assistants helping out with Cataldo's Quest.

In spite of Monday's bad weather conditions and thanks to the support of the MAC and Victoria Square, the performances could take place on dry venues. Even if the programme had to be modified at the last minute, the venues were so full we finally had to turn some people away!

A great festival indeed. We are already looking forward to next year's!

Don't forget to vote for your favourite act out of all the Festival of Fools past editions! The artists who receive more votes will be invited again for our 10th anniversary next year.

And if you are too sad about the Festival being over, you can try to find consolation in our Pop Up Shop (4 Castle Lane) this Saturday. This is the last occasion for you to get a Festival Tshirt, shopping bag or travel mug!

Tonight at the Circus School the classes will start again as per the regular schedule (Wednesday: Adult Circus).

Weekly news

Cinthia Beranek Matt Yates Donald Grant

23rd to 27th April 2012

ABOUT THE CAFÉ COURSE

The trainers Cinthia Beranek and Matt Yates are joined by Donald Grant this week. The students of the Circus Arts For Employment programme will be taught juggling and diabolo by this Scottish “Undisputed Master of Diabolo” for one week. They will also continue the acrobatics and handstands classes with Matt and aerial with Cinthia.

ABOUT THE OUTREACH PROGRAMME

There is no outreach workshop in Lurgan this week. All of the other long term workshops are running as normal. We are getting really positive feedback from our tutor team about the long term projects. We also have two workshops running in Downpatrick at the weekend for the Down Arts Service.

ABOUT THE OTHER CLASSES

This week the classes continue as usual: Itty Bitty on Monday and Thursday, Adult class on Wednesday, Once in a Fortnight Club (Group 2) on Thursday, Youth Circus on Saturday and Sunday Circus… probably on Sunday.

But meanwhile the Festival of Fools is getting closer and closer! During its whole duration, from Thursday the 3rd of May to Monday 7th May included, there will be no circus classes in the school.

Weekly 16 to 20 April 2012

Satya Hula Hoop class Matt teaching handstands

Week 16th to 20th April 2012

After Easter holidays, the students are back in the circus, most of them starting a new term this week.

ABOUT THE CAFÉ COURSE

The students will receive two new trainers this week: Satya Bella, from Australia/London who is a specialist in Hula Hoop, and Matt Yates, a juggler acrobat who is also known as Fatt Matt. You will be able to see Fatt Matt’s performance this year at the Festival of Fools! To know when and where, have a look on the website www.foolsfestival.com.

ABOUT THE OUTREACH PROGRAMME

All five of our long term weekly outreach projects begin back after a break for Easter. For most of them it will be the first class of the new term running from April - June. We have Randalstown running on Monday evenings, Lisburn Community Circus on Tuesday evenings, Lurgan Links Project and Portadown Youth Circus running on Wednesday evenings and Monkstown on a Friday evening.

Randalstown and Monkstown are both working towards a final performance with a parade and outdoor performance respectively. Our tutor teams are working hard to continuously providing a high standard of circus outreach workshops.

Rehearsals for Journey to the Land Of Giants

JLOG rehearsal JLOG opens the Festival of Fools 2012

This weekend, the students of Belfast Community Circus School have been rehearsing for 3 days in order to prepare Journey to the Land Of Giants (JLOG), the opening show of the Festival of Fools 2012 *.

It is a very special outdoor performance with over 60 cast, a unique mechanical set and lots of carnivaly circusy arts. You can’t miss it!

  • Thursday 3rd May at 6pm - Saint Anne’s Square http://www.facebook.com/JourneyToLandOfGiants

LAUNCH OF THE 9th FESTIVAL OF FOOLS

Natasha Wilton and the Magilligans

On Tuesday 3rd the Festival of Fools 2012 was officially launched on the premises of Belfast Community Circus School, on presence of Lord Mayor Niall O Donnghaile, and representatives from the Arts Council, the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, and the Department of Social Development. Also present were our sponsors and partners (Translink, U105, Ramada Encore, Stena Line, Festival of Foods) and other cultural organisations such as the MAC, the Beat Carnival, Community Circus Lisburn and Young at Art.

The coverage from the media has been great with some lovely photos in the Irish News, Belfast Telegraph and the Newsletter as well as BBC's Arts Extra featuring the artists who performed at the launch - old hands the Magilligans; Cafe student Natasha Wilton; and Luke Wilson who is with us for a week as head of Juggling.

LAND OF GIANTS looming large

Land of Giants

As we move into Spring, the biggest ever outdoor arts show gets ever closer. Our 18 CAFE students will be starring in the final production which takes place on the 30th June.

This week they were pressed into service for a photocall to announce the sale of tickets for the show. The impressive Harland and Wolf Drawing rooms were the historic setting for the shoot. You can find information on tickets and the show at www.landofgiants.info

Beginning of a new term

    *Easter Holidays: No classes next week!*

Itty Bitty

The new term has started for the 2 to 7 years old classes. Monday Itty Bitty will be running from the 2nd of April 2012 to 25th of June and the Thursday Itty Bitty from Thursday 5th April to Thursday 21st June. The last day of the term will be a showcase for each group. Please note that there are no classes on Monday 9th or Thursday 12th of April.

Adult circus continues every Wednesday evening, but there is no class next week on Wednesday 11th April.

Youth Circus:

There will only be a rehearsal for the Journey to the Land of Giants next week. No class on Saturday 14th April. This term is finishing on 28th April and the next one will start on 12th May.

The new term for Once A Fortnight Club starts on Thursday 19th April.

CAFE students show

Last Friday the 18 students from the Circus Arts For Employment programme presented us a one-hour show. Advised on Wednesday, they were given 2 days to create shows in pairs. They took this exercise very seriously and worked hard. As a result, their performances were outstanding, full of humour and acrobatics.

Tumble Circus Come Out on Top Downunder

We were all very excited to hear that the Circus Award at the Adelaide Fringe was won by Tumble Circus for their show This Is What We Do. Ken Faning and Tina Segner have been regular visitors to Australia ever since they graduated from the Belfast Community Circus School's Advancement Programme in 2000. Their hard work, creativity and commitment is paying off as they get more global bookings each year. We are happy to host their training whenever they are back in the country.

**Hip Hop Meets Circus as Belfast Travels to Paris**

Young Artists from Netherlands, France and Estonia

As part of our ongoing involvement with the Eu Caravan organisation (www.caravancircusnetwork.eu ) last week saw Director, Will Chamberlain, and Freerunner Gary Whelan, travel to Bagneux and spend some time with Plus Petit Cirque de Monde and fellow Caravan members from Finland, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Catalan, Sweden and Romania. Also, along for the trip were around 20 hip hop dancers and urban artists from around Europe. A four day encounter took place in the physical and intellectual realm with an exploration of the fusion and potential collaboration between circus and urban arts. Taking place in a converted swimming pool; a University; and a community centre, the programme is the first stage in a 2 year programme which will lead to a travelling training and performance project which should hit Belfast at the Festival of Fools in 2013.

Launch of the Festival of Fools

Festival of Fools

On the 3rd of April, the 9th Festival of Fools’ programme will finally be officially unveiled! With just a month to go, it's time to reveal the secrets of long term laughter. The launch will feature artists from past and future festivals along with a few nibbles to celebrate the Festival of Foods! The full line up will be available to view on http: \www.foolsfestival.com from 3rd April.

Weekly News 26 March - 1 April

Felicia O'Brien showing acrobatics Haggis McLeod juggling

27th March 2012

• ABOUT THE CAFÉ COURSE

This week, the CAFÉ (Circus Arts For Employment) students have the opportunity to be taught juggling and clowning by Haggis McLeod. This successful performer is specialised in solo club juggling, club passing and hat juggling. Among many other performances, he is well known for his comedy duo with Charlie and they can be seen this year at the Festival of Fools! Come and enjoy their show in the streets of Belfast from Friday 4th of May to Monday 7th.

Check the Festival website http://www.foolsfestival.com/ (updated soon)

We are also delighted that Felicia O’Brien has flown all the way from Australia to help the students improve their aerial and acrobatic skills for two weeks.

Cinthia Beranek from Brazil continues her 6 month stay as head of the aerial training and dance for the CAFÉ students

• ABOUT THE OTHER CLASSES

The Youth Circus, Sunday Youth Circus, Monday and Thursday Itty Bitty Circus for the little ones, the Aerial Class, the Adult Circus and Once A Fortnight Club continue their weekly lessons.

• ABOUT THE OUTREACH PROGRAMME

Teenscene - Belfast

Teenscene is a group of Autistic teenagers who will be having their last workshop out of ten workshops this week. They will be having a show which they are all very excited about. The ten week project has been a great success for the whole group and individually. Our tutor team will be sad that the project is finished as they have really enjoyed working on this project.

Links - Lurgan

The Links Lurgan ten week project has come to an end last Wednesday with a final performance for friends and family. It was a huge success, the tutors where immensely proud of the young people for all of their hardwork and determination, one tutor described them as "Awesome". They are coming to have a workshop in the circus school this week to give them a taste of skills that we can't provide on an Outreach workshop, like aerial.

SEAGOE Youth Group - Portadown

The long term workshop with Seagoe Youth Group goes on at St Patrick's Church Hall, where 16 young people are developing their circus skills over 10 sessions every Wednesday.

Confederation of Community Groups - Newry

This group of adults is starting a new project. The idea is that circus skills would be a fun way of breaking down barriers and integrating the group.

Weekly News #1

Wirewalk with Laura Acrobalance with Jose and Peter Wirewalk with Laura 2

20th March 2012

ABOUT THE CAFÉ COURSE

After 2 months, Peter van Valkenhoef and José Renkens from Holland are back! They will continue their work of acrobalance with the CAFÉ students (Circus Arts For Employment) and with Belfast circus performers for a week. We are very happy to have them again in Belfast. http://www.ijsenweder.com

Laura Tikka, circus artist from Finland/Switzerland specialised in aerial, handbalancing and wirewalking is also with us for this week, teaching slack wire. http://www.lauratikka.com/

ABOUT THE OTHER CLASSES

The Youth Circus, Sunday Youth Circus, Monday and Thursday Itty Bitty Circus for the little ones, the Aerial Class, the Adult Circus and Once A Fortnight Club continue their weekly lessons.

ABOUT THE OUTREACH PROGRAMME

Links Youth Project:

On Wednesday 21st March, after 10 weeks of training with Belfast Community Circus tutors, the 8 to 14 years-old participants to the Links Youth Project will present their performance at Links Youth Centre at 4.00pm.

COGS

On Friday 23rd March, the tutors of Belfast Community Circus will continue their work in Newtownabbey in association with the COGS, for children aged 10 to 14.

Derrykeevan Community Association

On Saturday 24th March, 3 workshops will take place in the rural area of Tandragee with Derrykeevan Community Association to provide circus skills to young people in an area where there is very little access to the arts.

Bazaar update

Thanks to everyone who turned up to the Bizarre Bring and Buy Bazaar & AGM on Sunday. We managed to raise more than £500 on the day, and more than £900 on the Brian Ballard Ballot, which is a really great achievement. Amazing cakes, wonderful volunteers, brilliant facepainting, loads of books, a smooth AGM and fun afternoon.

A huge thank you for all of your help, volunteering, selling, setting up, taking down, encouragement, participation, baking, donations, buying, face painting, attendance, and all round fantastic support. It is great to see so many people that want to be part of our Circus Community.

Bizarre Bring & Buy Bazaar and AGM

Bizarre Bring and Buy Bazaar, Brian Ballard Ballot and AGM

Come To Our “Bizarre Bring and Buy Bazaar and AGM” this Sunday 29th January 2:30-5:30pm.

There will be cake, coffee, popcorn, a book stall, face painting, tombola, hoopla and more.

We will also be drawing the winner of the "Roses on Red" 10 x 12 inch canvas, which Brian Ballard has kindly donated. Tickets are still available, £5 each and are available at the front office or at the beginning or end of a class.

All proceeds will go to Belfast Community Circus School.

So come along and join in the fun!

Adagio Masterclass

Ijs en weder came over from Holland to help out

The first week back for students on the CAFE course (Circus Arts For Employment) saw Peter and Jose from Ijs en Weder deliver an amazing week of acro for 13 of the students throughout the week as well as some time working with our existing professional artists. We hope to have them back later in the year.

New Year, New courses

As we enter the New Year, a new term has begun. The youth circus started back on the 7th January, Circus Arts For Employment (Cafe) full time training started back 9th January along with Itty Bitty Circus. All we need now is to start Adult Circus, Once a Fortnight and more Itty Bitty classes. It's going to be a very busy year!

Nominate your tutor in Ni4kids Family Awards

Ni4kids Family Awards are in recognition of the people, organisations and businesses that go above and beyond to support families in Northern Ireland

Families and Ni4kids readers from across NI are asked to vote for their favourites over a range of 13 categories including coach/tutor of the year, favourite family places to go, events, support organisations and retailers, primary school teachers, as well as Mum, Dad, Grandparent and Child of the Year, so if you feel that your Belfast Circus School tutor deserves a nomination, please visit www.ni4kids.com/familyawards.

The Ni4kids Family Awards are in recognition of the people, organisations and businesses that go above and beyond to support families in Northern Ireland. The winners will be selected by a judging panel after the closing date of 23 March 2012. The awards will be presented in the new Titanic Belfast building on Friday 11th May 2012.

Ni4kids magazine is available to pick up at over 250 locations including major shopping centres, tourist info centres, Ikea, W5, the Waterfront, Odyssey cinemas. In Belfast City Centre you can pick a copy up at the Belfast Welcome Centre.

Youth Circus Christmas Cabaret

Get the last few remaining tickets now!

Youth Circus Christmas Cabaret

Showcasing the skills and abilities of the highly talented Youth Circus as they perform festive treats in an action packed cabaret format. Featuring a cast of 60 young people who will present a spectacular show featuring juggling, acrobatics, dance, and aerial skills.

When:

  • Friday 9th December at 7.30pm (6 remaining)

  • Saturday 10th December at 3pm (12 remaining) and 6pm (9 remaining)

  • Sunday 11th December at 3pm (Sold Out) and 6pm (25 remaining)

How much: Tickets £6 per head. Call the office on 028 90 236 007 to reserve. Payment must be made in advance to confirm tickets.

Where: Belfast Circus School

Charity Rock Gig

Charity Rock Gig, Saturday 19th November in Ma Nelson's, Lisburn Rd, local talent and fantastic prizes

Charity Rock gig

A Charity Rock Gig is being organised to help fundraise for 2 worthy causes- Belfast Community Circus School and Macmillan Nurses. Exceptional local talent – Nasa Assassin, Kyle John Suckling, Buck Eejit & Johnny Vans – are on the bill promising rock, rock and more rock! And the excitement doesn’t stop there with lots of raffle prizes to be won over the evening.

Ma Nelson’s - Upstairs- 149 Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7AJ

Saturday 19th November, doors open at 8pm til late

£6 entry on door (Over 18’s event)

PLEASE COME ALONG AND SUPPORT THE EVENT

It would be really great if we could get some donated prizes for the raffle! If you have anything you could donate to us as a raffle prize we would be delighted. You can drop the prize off to the Belfast Circus School and it can be held here until collected by the charity night organisers or if you have any queries please get in touch with Zan or Nikki Croft on 02890 236007 or Nikki.Croft@dsdni.gov.uk or zan@belfastcircus.org

Confirmed raffle prizes so far include Car Stereo, MP3 player, Mobile Phone, David Lloyd family pass (1 week), Omniplex Passes, hampers from Starbucks, Lush, M&S, & Tesco, Hola Lola bag, various DVDs, bottles of wine, boxes of chocolates

Culture Night Belfast

Culture Night Belfast Fri 23rd Sept

Culture Night Belfast

It's going to be a jam-packed evening on Friday 23rd Sept with a full length Youth Circus show at Writer's Square, plus Belfast Circus School goes all Andy Warhol for the night offering a host of circus artists 15 minutes of fame.

5pm-5.30pm Belfast Youth Circus presents The Case To Answer Writers’ Square Stage, Donegall St.

This is the last chance to see The Case to Answer, before it gets mothballed for eternity. A hit at Festival of Fools 2011 and after a successful Summer Tour, enjoy a show written and performed by a group of dedicated young circus performers that promises comedy, acrobatics, juggling, unicycles and more. Inspirational and downright enjoyable.

6pm-8pm Bite Size Youth Circus, in Belfast Circus School, Gordon St

For the first 2 hours, the Circus will be overun with youthful talent as a feast of juggling and extravagant hula hooping will run in bite size 15 mins chunks at 6.00; 6.30; 7.00 & 7.30pm.

8pm-10pm Circus Snacks for Adults in Belfast Circus School, Gordon St

For the second 2 hours, the Grown Ups take over the asylum as a series of mini 15 min shows will be presented by Barren Carrousel, Tumble Circus, Sir Edwin Longbottom, Jitterbug Jackson and maybe others too. Shows will begin at 8.00; 8.30; 9.00 & 9.30

In between times, the public will have the opportunity to find out all about Ireland's biggest and busiest circus school. Mini building tours; DVD viewing and, of course, popcorn will all be on hand to pass the time.

For more information on what else is happening on Culture Night, please visit www.culturenightbelfast.com

Festival of Fools 2012

Before you lament the end of Summer - it's officially over now that Sunday Treats season is complete - rest assured that the Festival of Fools team is busy preparing the 9th edition, which will take place Thursday 3rd May to May Day Bank Holiday Monday 7th May, promising comedy, clowning, and belly laughs galore in Belfast City Centre and Cathedral Quarter.

Visit www.foolsfestival.com

Circus Village Fete

On the 26th June Belfast Community Circus School presented a very special Village Fete.

Roll Up, Roll Up for a Circus Village Fete – on City Hall Lawns!!!

On the 26th June Belfast Community Circus School presented a very special Village Fete. We would like to thank all the participants for a very fun and successful afternoon that was enjoyed by performers and participants alike.

Treat Yourself to a Good Laugh

second Sunday Treats brochure cover

Festival of Fools presents Sunday Treats

Fancy something special on Sundays? Maybe you deserve one of the Festival of Fools’ Sunday Treats. Why not waltz your way down to the Cathedral Quarter for the afternoon and watch some quality street theatre in the serene surroundings of Cotton Court or the beautiful Saint Anne's Square?

From Sunday 15th May - Sunday 28th August, with shows at 2pm Cotton Court and 4pm Saint Anne's Square, you can laugh your socks off at an amazing variety of physical comedy, circus, acrobatics, juggling and ridiculous endeavours.

And because the shows are free of charge, you’ll have that wonderful warm feeling that makes you feel like enjoying yourself.

For more info please see www.foolsfestival.com.

Thanks for your Support

Circus Cabaret - 22nd & 23rd Oct

Many thanks to all those who supported our two wonderful evenings of Circus Cabaret, raising money for the upcoming Youth Circus Christmas show.

Nicole & Martin ... More than Theatre comes to Holywood

Check out the wonderful Nicole and Martin ... More than theatre in Holywood, Co. Down on 26th-28th July

Storytelling which takes you on a journey to another world of theatre, fairy tales, music, song, dance, juggling and acrobatics, all performed in their renowned white tent and a plethora of canvas and wood marquee hung with streams of coloured silk.

  • 26th July - The musicians of Bremen @ 7pm
  • 27th July - The girl without hands @ 7pm
  • 28th July - The fisherman and his wife @ 7 pm

Performances are staged at Holywood Steiner School, (Croft Road Holywood)

Tickets are available from Go to Belfast

More information on Nicole and Martin can be found on their website

Nicole & Martin ... More than Theatre comes to Holywood

Check out the wonderful Nicole and Martin ... More than theatre in Holywood, Co. Down on 26th-28th July

Storytelling which takes you on a journey to another world of theatre, fairy tales, music, song, dance, juggling and acrobatics, all performed in their renowned white tent and a plethora of canvas and wood marquee hung with streams of coloured silk.

  • 26th July - The musicians of Bremen @ 7pm
  • 27th July - The girl without hands @ 7pm
  • 28th July - The fisherman and his wife @ 7 pm

Performances are staged at Holywood Steiner School, (Croft Road Holywood)

Tickets are available from Go to Belfast

More information on Nicole and Martin can be found on their website

Run away with the Circus with this Alternative Christmas Gift!

CIRCUS EXPERIENCE-INTRO TO CIRCUS COURSE (18+) COST:£45 DATES: Sundays 25th Jan, 1st & 8th Feb TIME:6pm-7pm TO BOOK: 02890 236007 or reception@belfastcircus.org

NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!

Join our professional trainers for a dynamic and fun course in the basics of Circus Performance including juggling, tight-wire, acrobalance, unicycle and diabolo.

Training with Belfast Community Circus School is an experience not to be found anywhere else in N.I.

Run away with the Circus with this Alternative Christmas Gift!

CIRCUS EXPERIENCE-INTRO TO CIRCUS COURSE (18+) COST:£45 DATES: Sundays 25th Jan, 1st & 8th Feb TIME:6pm-7pm TO BOOK: 02890 236007 or reception@belfastcircus.org

NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!

Join our professional trainers for a dynamic and fun course in the basics of Circus Performance including juggling, tight-wire, acrobalance, unicycle and diabolo.

Training with Belfast Community Circus School is an experience not to be found anywhere else in N.I.

Find The Fun, Lose The Fat, Run Away To Join The Circus!

To celebrate 30 years since its foundation, Belfast Community Circus School is offering a unique chance for adults to run away with the circus. A short introduction to circus training will offer the very highest quality training opportunities for grown ups to learn how to juggle, try out trapeze, walk the tightwire and learn how to be part of a human pyramid. At a time of year when many people pay joining fees to gyms only to let them lapse a month later, this is a fun way to fitness at the same time as doing something totally different. Will Chamberlain, a former circus clown and now Director of the Circus School, said: For 30 years Belfast Community Circus School has been giving children and young people the chance to pursue the dream of being part of the circus. This year, to mark our 30th birthday, we are offering that same wonderful experience to grown ups. Whether you want to do it for fun, for fitness, or for performance, this introduction to circus is perfect for all abilities.
The classes will be taken by 3 of the leading trainers and performers with the only dedicated Circus School in Ireland. Belfast Community Circus School is based in the Cathedral Quarter, where each year they hold classes for more than 2,000 youngsters. Currently, more than 1,000 children have put their names down on the waiting list for classes. Head Trainer, Paul Quate said: If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be in the circus, this short course will give you a glimpse into our world. I can’t guarantee that you will be a circus star after 3 lessons, but I do guarantee you will have learnt some circus skills and had a great time into the bargain. An Introduction to Circus Classes take place on Sunday 25th January, 1st & 8th February from 6pm-8pm. Cost £45 for the course. Booking can be made by email reception@belfastcircus.org or by phone 02890236007

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